How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21207
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an American Bulldog with what appears to have very

Customer Question

I have an American Bulldog with what appears to have very sensitive skin. This effects her back end, base of the tail and the inside of the rear legs. A local vet prescribed 16 Cephalexin 500mg which worked great completely restoring her back end. However the condition returned within 25 days after treatment stopped. The local vet really does not have an answer to this condition. Any suggestions ? Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

What testing did the vet do so far?

Was Waggs itchy with her skin at any stage (before or once the infection was present in the skin)?

When was she last treated for fleas? What brand did you use?

Any changes to her diet in the 4-6 weeks prior to this starting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No diet changes, Advantage II, itchy yes, it is not apparent that it is an infection, zip testing.Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that you have her on a good quality flea product (since its an economical way to reduce the chance of flea allergy dermatitis playing a role here) and hopefully you are keeping up on that monthly.

Now her initial situation sounded like she has a bacterial pyoderma (since it was treated successfully with antibiotics). Still, this is often a secondary issue. Most commonly there is underlying allergic skin issue that makes them itchy and its the self-trauma in response to that that allows bacteria to get in there to cause infection. So, we often see this recurrence issue since the underlying problem isn't addressed.

With all this in mind, we have few options in how we approach this situation. For dog with mild signs, we find using antihistamines of benefit. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). Or for more severe, we do have immune modulating treatments like steroids, Atopica or Apoquel that can soothe allergic dermatitis. And on top of these, we will something use emollient shampoos (ie Episoothe, oatmeal based ones, etc) or medicatied ones (ie Malaseb - a very good one for addressing bacterial/yeast overgrowth with this) to keep the skin soothed and settled.

Of course, if we wanted to try and narrow down the cause for this so that we address the root sign that can take a bit of detective work. We'd need to appreciate if it is a seasonal issue (where pollen would be quite likely a cause) or year-round (where environmental and food allergies would be more suspect). Or if this started since she began a certain diet, then we can use diet trials (carried out for 4-6 weeks) can be helpful to determine and then avoid a protein she is sensitive to. Though since our dogs cannot tell us what set them off, we do also find allergy testing (via blood sample or skin testing) useful in this approach. And once one has pinpointed the cause, we can remove it from her environment +/- use immunotherapy (special vaccines used to desensitize the immune system to the allergen). And these are always ideal since identifying and addressing the actual trigger can halt the immune response that leaves her itchy and her skin sensitive.

Overall, Wagg's situation sounds like a possible pyoderma that was secondary to an underlying allergic dermatitis. Therefore, since the allergen has not been identified or addressed, we'd want to focus on that with a view to helping reduce the risk of recurrence over the long term.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Waggs. How is everything going?